After breakfast we checked out of our hotel and headed towards Mount Evans. This would prove to be one of the prettiest scenic drives and the day was perfect. Finally we are seeing snow capped mountains! The drive was wonderful.
On the way up to Mount Evans we stopped at Mount Goliath Natural area. We did a small hiking to see some old bristle cone pines. Some of them were 1,600 years old! Next we stopped off at Summit Lake to take a few photos and take in the view. GORGEOUS. Finally we reached the top via the byway called the "Road to the Stars." The boys did some rock scrambling and we climbed around in the old castle. We stayed up there for a while b/c it was just amazing.
After making our way back to the bottom we stopped off to the Echo Lake Lodge where we bought a few postcards. We had thought about having our picnic at Echo Lake but I had read that a better spot was Chicago Forks. I hadn't seen any pictures but we thought we'd take a chance. WOW, am I glad we did. The Chicago Creek runs through this area and there were so many beautiful spots. It also happens to be in the Arapaho National Forest. There were picnic tables in the woods near the creek so we set up lunch. Afterwards Levi took some photos of the scenery and the boys scrambled rocks. Jackie accidentally walked of one of the rocks and skinned up his nose. OUCH. Talk about scaring me to death!
Finally we were on our way to Estes Park. We were taking scenic byways but missed a turn in Nederland and ended up in Boulder. We made it to Estes Park in the late afternoon where we settled into our cabin (just 9 ft off the Big Thompson River). Later we had pizza at Bob and Tony's where coincidentally we sat down next to another family from Kansas City. Small world!!